This letter is from a middle school teacher who has used my adventures and mysteries in her classroom for the past few years.
My name is Sandra Stiles. I am a middle school Language Arts teacher in Bradenton, Florida. I have always had a passion for reading. That passion doesn’t always transfer to your own children. My daughter was a struggling reader. It took another teacher to introduce her to an author whose books she devoured.
I am here to tell you about that author who has my students reading and fighting over his books. Max Elliot Anderson has been one of my favorite authors for several years. Not only do I love his books, but my students love them as well. I have three classes of students who have a remedial reading class, then they come to me for Language Arts. When I did my first book pass with my students I made sure to have one of Max’s books in each pile to introduce them to his books. Both boys and girls love his books. Almost all of his books are not only filled with adventure, but also mystery. One of my lowest readers has made it a goal to read all of Max’s books I have on my shelves. He has read eight books so far. The really cool part is that he started talking to some of the girls in the class. Now he has them reading them, too.
Max has two major series, “The Sam Cooper” series and “The Accidental Adventures” series. Both of these have characters that all kids - boys and girls alike - will love. I can’t say enough about his books. I highly recommend them to classrooms everywhere.
ELA teacher/Dept. Chair
With summer coming, reading won't necessarily be on the minds of middle grade students. You can recommend these books with confidence. And I hope Sandra's words will encourage you to add some of my books to your library and classroom.
"At the Buzzer" is another deftly crafted gem of a MG novel by Max Elliot Anderson and very highly recommended for both school and community library Fiction collections. “I'm very pleased to announce that the April 2018 issue of our online book review magazine "Children's Bookwatch" features a review of "At the Buzzer”. James A. Cox Editor-in-Chief Midwest Book Review
Critique: The fourth novel in Max Elliot Anderson's simply outstanding mystery/suspense 'Sam Cooper Adventure' series, "This Property Is Condemned" is another compelling and flawlessly entertaining read from cover to cover. While very highly recommended for personal reading lists and community library collections, it should be noted that "This Property Is Condemned" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $2.99). Midwest Review - March 2018 issue of our online book review magazine "Small Press Bookwatch" features a review of "This Property Is Condemned".
Synopsis: A sign outside the old Remmington Mansion read, "This Property is Condemned." Sam Cooper couldn't figure out exactly what that meant. Even after his father explained it, he became more puzzled than ever. So, along with his friends, Tony and Tyler, he set out to solve the mystery.
Sam thought the old place was abandoned. But, when the boys went to investigate, a curtain moved, and they discovered old Mrs. Remmington still lived in the crumbling house.
Sam was the kind of person who would try to right any wrong or help anyone who was in trouble. And Mrs. Remmington was in a lot of it.
So, he organized the whole town to go out and fix the place up like new. But that's when his problems really began.
Why did those men try to scare the old woman into moving? And, why were they threatening Sam and his friends?
No matter what it took, Sam was determined to find out.
What are you doing to encourage boys to learn, excel, have courage or succeed? A few nights ago, I heard an interview with Dr. Jordan Peterson who outlined the difficulties men are experiencing in our society today. And he traced those difficulties back to when they were boys. It used to be that many said girls were being left behind. Today, it's boys who need a little extra push. That push can be partially found by encouraging young boys to put down their electronic devices and read. I didn't do much of that when I was a child, even though my father was the author of over 70 books. I chose a path of audiovisual productions including dramatic and documentary films, videos, television programs and TV commercials because I became a visual learner. Today I've concentrated much of my writing efforts on adventures and mysteries for readers 8 - 13. And some of these kids tell me reading one of my books is like being in an exciting movie. If you know boys in your life, family, or circle of friends who are struggling, it could be these books might help. That's my hope, and I welcome your comments.
We are in the final stages of releasing 9 more Middle Grade mysteries and adventures through the Book Club Network.
Each is a standalone story with different characters, setting, and plot.
Barney and the Runaway
Barney and the Runaway tells the story of Michael Ellis, who has recently told his parents to start calling him Mike from now on. He especially hated the way they were always telling him what to do. Mike decides to teach his parents a lesson by pretending to run away for a day with his dog Barney.
The plan gets a bit more complicated than planned when Mike and Barney hide in a railroad boxcar, fall asleep, and end up in Georgia with a circus in the middle of the night. Fortunately for the runaways, Big Bob the Clown takes Mike and Barney to safety in his wagon. Mike decides that living and performing with the circus might be a good idea until Big Bob opens Mike’s eyes to his unfortunate past.
Mike’s encounter with this grown up runaway, in the circus, helps him to understand that his parents truly love him. Then Mike and Barney save the circus. Through it all, Mike learns the importance of family.
Parents often punish their children, but only because they love and want what is best for them, not because they don’t care. Even though the life of a circus performer with a circus family may appear fun, if given a choice, most would agree that living in a warm home with loving, caring parents is the preferred choice. As the saying goes, “You don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone.” After Mike overhears some unsettling news and both he and Barney are involved in a scary and dangerous crime, Mike learns his lesson before it’s too late.
It was that time again—the annual fishing trip. Every summer was the same. The two Washburn families packed up their identical over-sized pickup trucks and headed for Canada. Only this time Andy Washburn determined it was going to be different. He didn't quite know what, or how he was going to work it out, but he was not going to spend two weeks in a boat, fishing this year. There had to be something better they could do up there instead. Even if they had to include Sarah, Andy's nine-year-old sister, and Jessica, CJ's sister, they'd do it.
Andy and CJ, his cousin, both approaching their twelfth birthdays, tried to find ways to get out of all that fishing. CJ is a computer whiz, and tests new products for his father's company, so he brings this year’s newest games and gadgets along, and they sure come in handy.
After arriving at the lake, the boys made a deal with their dads. They'd fish for the first couple of days then the boys could go off and explore the area. This becomes even more exciting when two, identical, black float-planes landed on the lake, after dark, and disappeared into the cove around the bend from the Washburn's cabins. Then they took off again before sunrise the next morning.
The boys determined to find out what that was all about. When Andy remembered that, at the Canada/US border, they'd been stopped and searched, another vehicle had been found to have illegal turtles hidden in the spare-tire well. Andy was sure these planes were poachers landing and taking off in the dark.
When the four children set out on their mission, they have no idea what they're getting themselves into. They find an old forest watch tower which, of course, they have to climb. From there they can see into the lodge on the other side of the cove where the two strange float-planes had gone. They return to the tower the next day with a telescope that belongs to Andy's dad. What they see and discover turns into sudden danger for these four kids. They uncover the answer to the mysterious, black planes, but they also stir up some serious trouble when they discover that there is an international ring of wild animal poachers operating out of the old abandoned lodge.
Four boys had formed a detective club in their little town where nothing much ever happens. That is, until they put their money together and ordered a police scanner for the shack where they held their meetings. The area around where they lived, in New Market, Virginia, was littered with caves. The uncle of one of the club’s members has a cave right on his farm. That’s when the guys hatched the idea of going out to the cave for a little innocent exploring. The cave was on private property, so they knew they’d be safe and no one could bother them. But on the night before their big adventure, the scanner came alive with reports of a big bank heist in a nearby city. The boys thought surely the robbers would be long gone by the time they set up their campsite near the cave. They were wrong. Inside the cave the next morning they found something. Now the robbers were coming in the entrance of the cave and the boys couldn’t get out.
Peyton Aldrich has just moved to a new army base with his parents and younger sister. He doesn’t understand why his father has been sent to such a rundown place in the middle of nowhere. After all, his father was a colonel, with top security clearance, who completed the elite Ranger school. And his training had been in Army Intelligence. Yet, here they were.
Peyton was never allowed to ask his father anything about what he did in the army. Nor was he allowed to ever get in the way. There were many secrets that his dad couldn’t even tell his own family.
Peyton idolized his father. One day, he hoped to grow up to be just like him. His father had told him that the army may not be for everyone, but after what happened on 9/11, somebody had to help keep the country safe.
Peyton finds two friends. Gill is the son of the base’s motor pool sergeant, and Dave’s father is the base chaplain. Together they decide to train like Rangers, and search for some kind of mission they could do. Little did they know that a mission was about to put the boys right in the crosshairs of a dangerous terrorist plot, when a secret weapon would be delivered to the base on its way across the country.
There was no way Peyton could tell his father what he knew. After all, it could cost him his job. Peyton, Gill, and Dave have to take matters into their own hands, and they do.
Will the terrorists find out who is trying to expose their evil plan? Will the boys be able to stop them? And what will happen to Peyton’s father when the general finds out what the boys did?
“When the Lights go Out.” A story for kids, and their parents, so we never forget 9/11.
Tom Stevens was a super salesman. He and his friends delivered newspapers early every morning. Along their route, the boys often saw some pretty strange things. Then one day they actually became the story in the papers they delivered.
Early in the morning, while it was still dark, the three boys stumbled across some suspicious activity. A tow truck begins to hook up an expensive car in someone’s driveway along their paper route. Tom sees the name Jake embroidered on one guy's pocket. But when the tow truck driver sees the boys, he drives off in the truck, leaving the car behind.
Tom reads in the paper the next morning about a string of car thefts around the area. He begins to see a connection between a local car repair shop and the thefts. The same Jake turns out to be a mechanic at a relative's garage, and he acts very secretive when the boys are around.
The boys’ adventures begin as they take matters into their own hands and investigate the car thefts. They befriend an elderly widow whose car was stolen, and encounter vicious watchdogs and the thieves themselves at the chop-shop, in an abandoned warehouse used by the crooks.
But it’s Tom who proves to be the one who carries this mystery to its dangerous conclusion. Will his investigating skills be enough to help him to solve the crimes.
Eddy Thompson cheated on anything, anytime, anywhere. His hero is John Dillinger, one of the most dangerous bank robbers in American history. It’s winter in Indiana and Christmas break is almost here.
Finally school is out. After Christmas, Eddy's father invites Chet, Rusty, and their fathers to drive up to a cabin he owns on Wolf Lake, in Michigan, for ice fishing, tobogganing, and winter fun in the snow. But something happens up at Wolf Lake that will change Eddie’s life. It isn’t the brutal cold. It isn’t when Eddy falls through the ice. It isn’t even when two scary men arrive at their remote cabin.
The boys’ fathers go fishing and leave them to build a snow fort along the back fence. It’s dark when two real bank robbers show up, on the other side of that fence, as police sirens race toward them. They toss their stolen cash over the fence, hoping to come back for it later.
Eddie the cheater wants to keep it, and that’s when their troubles really begin.
With so much danger closing in and with the help of his friends, Eddy realizes how wrong it is to cheat.
But the terror doesn't end there. After the boys return from Wolf Lake, and are alone for New Years Eve, they find that home might not be the safest place, either.
It was only supposed to be a mountain wilderness hike for three boys with camping gear, guides, and everything. What could possibly go wrong with all those adults around? These three friends plodded along at the back of the line of hikers. Then one of the boys did something he knew was wrong; he darted off the trail to get a picture. They’d taken special classes, joined an expert group of mountain hikers, and now they found themselves separated from the group, all alone, and lost in the fog. But that’s not the worst of it. The boys had to cross a broken-down suspension bridge high above a bottomless gorge with raging water gushing right through the middle of it. There was a bear that nearly ate Benji, hundreds of soldiers on a military training exercise, and an abandoned cabin – which wasn’t abandoned after all. A band of terrorists were in the final stages of carrying out their deadly attack. Could the boys get away? Could they tell someone about the evil plan? And would anyone be able to warn the city of Denver in time?
When a brother and his younger sister find out they’re going to spend spring break out west, on their cousin’s ranch, they have no idea what dangers lie ahead of them. This is no old-time dusty western story. The children ride in their uncle’s airplane, he uses his satellite telephone, and the local sheriff patrols the area in a powerful helicopter. And the people stealing cattle fromranchers in the area use large trucks, all-terrain vehicles, and their own high-tech equipment in an effort to stay one step ahead of the law. The kids are invited on a trail ride to find new calves for branding. Evidence is piling up that one of the ranch hands might be in on the stealing. But why is he working on the ranch? Their cousin told them the guy should be in prison for stealing cattle. Then a rattlesnake bite changes everything. Now it’s a race against time to help the victim, find the rustlers, and save the ranch.
Take two eleven-year-old boys, a mysterious white wolf, a dangerous band of illegal hunters, and all the excitement of the rugged outdoors near Yellowstone, put it all together in a book and you have an adventure story even the most "reluctant" of readers will pick up and enjoy.
Brian Fisher was no different from other young boys and, so, it was not much of a surprise that he resented the fact that no one believed his fantastic tale about a white wolf. It was also no surprise that he decided to prove the story true, even if it meant putting his own life in danger.
It all began when Brian discovered a white wolf pup caught in a trap and set it free. Since then, Brian was convinced that he and the wolf shared a special bond. Stung by the disbelief of his family and friends, Brian sets out to confirm the story and ends up getting a lot more than he bargained for. It is bad enough that he is caught out in a snowstorm and attacked by a mountain lion, but when a group of lawless hunters begins killing off the wolf population, that's when Brian has to get right in the middle of it.
Using his extensive experience in dramatic film, video, and TV commercial production, Max Elliot Anderson brings that same heart-pounding, visual excitement to his middle grade adventures & mysteries for readers 8 and up